The crazed fan story is practically a sub-genre in fiction. This special kind of stalker makes the news, too, but many people are fanatical to a lesser extent. They collect autographs, contribute to fan fiction sites, follow film stars and sometimes spend impressive amounts of time & money hunting down their quarry, only to smile and stutter “I’m your biggest fan” or something similar.
Occupying the space on the edges of fame, most of these people simply feel a deep and unusual connection to someone they admire. One of my friends has a serious crush on Richard Armitage. He’s a very handsome actor, but I don’t see him bathed in the golden light that she experiences. She’ll watch him in ANYTHING and exchanges comments with a worldwide fan base on the Internet. When he appeared in a staged reading of a not very appealing play in New York, she was anxious to go and engineered (through a polite request sent backstage) him coming out to greet his fans after the show.
Did she pose for a photo with him? No. She was just happy to smile and say hello. Perhaps if she’d snapped a dual selfie she’d be over her crush?
Her passion for the star of “North & South” (the genesis of her yen for him) and featured actor in “The Hobbit” has inspired me to think about the line that real celebrities stalkers cross. She is definitely NOT in their camp and yet she gushes about him and professes to be mystified that I do not share her feelings. So how do people go from fan to crazed, fanatical, stalker? What is it in their lives — or in the image of their prey — that transforms a basically good feeling into an overwhelming craving?
I think that’s the key. My friend may appear to be obsessed, but she is more bemused or enchanted. She doesn’t believe that the object of her passion returns her feelings. The crazed stalker does and THAT is a great starting point for a story.
No wonder there are so many celebrity stalker characters.